A freemason has been hailed a hero for rescuing a crisis-hit pensioners’ party.
More than 50 people from the community homes, Magdalen House, Stony Stratford, and Radcote Lodge, Two Mile Ash, faced heartbreak when a magician pulled out of their Christmas knees-up because of illness.
So Paul French, 48, stepped up to the microphone to serenade the guests with a 45 minute set of traditional songs, American standards, and festive jokes to ensure the party went with a swing.
The event was organised by Roman Way Masonic Lodge, which meets at the Stony Stratford Masonic Centre, in New Street, Stony Stratford.
Paul, a window cleaner,said: “Normally being chair of a masonic lodge involves conducting committee meetings and make sure the lodge is supporting the right charities.
“This time, I had to sing for somebody else’s supper!”
Fellow freemason Mick Hull,64, a business consultant Great Linford, said: “Paul saved the day. The audience was getting a bit restive. I told Paul to do something. He just grabbed the microphone and bit his lip.
“Then, he leapt on to the stage and made some witty remarks, before launching into some old standards, like ‘My Kind of Town.’
“He is an inspirational chairman who lives our standards of friendship, decency, and charity.”
The freemasons staged the party with the help of a 12-strong team who volunteered to help cook food and serve tables at the Parish Rooms for the traditional event.
The head of Milton Keynes and Bucks Freemasons, Gordon Robertson, said: “Being chair of a masonic lodge is character building on so many levels, but this is the first time that I have heard of a freemason having to do a Frank Sinatra.
“But good for Paul, and good for Roman Way, who are proving that you get out of life what you put into it. I am proud of them all.
“They are really living up to our principles of friendship, decency, and charity, and having a good time in the process.”
>More on how freemasons get on-song at www.buckspgl.org